Posts tagged "Create the Web"

Testing: The Third Pillar of Standards

Recently, a series of “Test the Web Forward” events have been scheduled to promote getting the community involved in building test cases for important Web standards. A few months ago, I participated in “Test the Web Forward/Paris” in Paris.  The next “Test the Web Forward/Sydney” event is scheduled for February 8th and 9th in Sydney, Australia. These events, held in various cities around the world, are open to everyone who is passionate about Web standards, and bring together developers and standards experts.

Why is testing important? When we think about “standards,” we usually think about the two initial components: (1) specifications — written descriptions about how the standards work, and (2) implementations — software that implements the specification. A suite of test cases becomes an essential link between specifications and implementations.

When it comes to standards and standardization, what people care about is compatibility — the ability to use components from multiple sources with the expectation that those components will work together. This connection is there for all kinds of software standards, whether Application Program Interfaces (APIs), rules for communicating over the network (protocols), computer languages, or smaller component pieces (protocol elements) used by any of those.

On the Web, the APIs are frequently JavaScript, the protocol is often HTTP, and the languages include HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. URLs, host names and encoding labels and MIME types are protocol elements.

The “Create the Web” tour demonstrated the relationship between specification and implementation. “Test the Web Forward” brings in test cases to ensure that the promise of compatibility isn’t empty. Building the global information infrastructure requires a focus not only on new developments, but on compatibility, reliability, performance, and security. The challenge of testing is that the technology is complex, the specifications are new, and the testing needed is extensive.

I encourage everyone who is passionate about the Web and Web standards to attend the “Test the Web Forward” event in Sydney or other related events. Get involved and help make the Web a more interoperable place.

Larry Masinter
Principal Scientist

Leading the Web Forward: Adobe’s “Create the Web” Event and Open Standards

I recently attended Adobe’s “Create the Web” event in San Francisco on September 24, 2012. One of things that struck me was the role standards are playing in the tools and technologies announced at that event.  Adobe is increasingly delivering standards-based tools to simplify the creation of imaginative content for the Web as well as contributing technology to the continuing development of the Open Web Platform standards within the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C).
 
Adobe has for many years been one of the primary vendors of tools for creating visual content. Our customers look to us to help them create innovative and effective presentations and content: graphically, textually and interactively. Originally, these tools involved display vehicles created by Adobe, but increasingly, the tools Adobe is providing are moving to standards-based platforms such as the Open Web Platform. For example, the recently announced Edge Animate tool makes the creation of animations using HTML5, CSS and JavaScript much more natural; a user interacts with a graphical display of the objects being animated, and the tool helps the user write the “code” for inclusion of the objects on the user’s Web page.
 
As the Web platform standards have become available on mobile as well as desktop devices, creating presentations that scale across these devices has become more challenging. The Edge Reflow tool helps create presentations that shift the way the same content is displayed on devices of different sizes using a Cascading Style Sheet (CSS) feature called media queries. PhoneGap Build then allows an author to take a Web platform-based application and package it as a native application that can run on a number of mobile device operating systems.
 
But, the Web of today still lacks many of the features Adobe customers have grown to appreciate and use. For that reason, Adobe is very active in extending the Web standards to include those features. In the area of presentation layout, Adobe has submitted proposals to allow a presentation to be constructed from multiple flows of material and to have objects on the page exclude other objects or text to achieve layout effects commonly seen in magazines. In the area of graphics, Adobe is helping to standardize the technologies used to create filters that add pizazz to presentations and to allow various elements to be overlaid, transparently. These efforts are accompanied by open-source demonstration implementations that help vendors supporting the Open Web Platform understand the value of and possibilities around the features being contributed. Adobe is in active partnerships developing these features to lead the Web forward.
 
Adobe is making a strong statement in support of the Open Web Platform standards. We are developing tools that make it easier to produce content for the Open Web, and we are working to extend that standard to better meet the needs of Adobe customers. Thus, standards are significant in the ways Adobe helps creative professionals, publishers, developers and businesses create, publish, promote and monetize their content anywhere.